Scream 3 ★★

Scream 3 is kind of a hard one for me to comment on. I adored the first two movies and count them as titles that formed me into the movie fan I am today. So I'll freely admit that I was a bit of an apologist for Scream 3 when it came out in 2000. But the more I rewatch it the more problematic and, frankly, less fun it becomes.

The script suffers greatly from a lack of Kevin Williamson (Ehren Kruger was brought in to finish it). But if Williamson's witty dialogue was the only thing missing, Scream 3 had a shot at still being a solid conclusion to the trilogy. Unfortunately, Kruger's script is just bonkers and over the top in the worst places. There are tons of contrived setups for kills or attacks that feel like the movie is trying its hardest not to be a slasher movie. Things like an actor rushing into a house where the killer is faxing script pages just because he "has to know" what happens, and the killer throwing a knife at Dewey so that the handle hits his forehead and knocks him unconscious are two examples of some of the most cringe-inducing first draft screenwriting in Scream 3.

The movie takes what was fun meta commentary on the horror genre in the first two movies and goes all-in on eschewing Hollywood itself. Many of the movie's cast of killer fodder characters are actors and actresses in the film within the film Stab 3. This is the movie's biggest mistake in that it takes the series too far. It's too on the nose, too big in scope, and so satirical of the filmmaking process as to almost be a parody as opposed to a slasher. It also doesn't help that, by design, the actor cheaters are obnoxious and not at all endearing like the characters in the first two films. You almost want them to get killed off quickly so they'll shut up.

I won't comment much on the voice changer. Again, the movie takes what worked in the first two movies too far. The killer has a magic voice changer that can imitate people's voices. Why? I have no idea. It's a stupid change and makes it even harder to take the movie seriously.

The reason I was able to give Scream 3 a pass for so long was because I felt like the killer's motivations were good and there's such a good sense of finality to the trilogy and Sydney's story by the end.

So if you want a good conclusion, you may find it here (and then move onto Scream 4). But I'll be damned if this movie isn't worthy of being skipped entirely. Also, as much as I originally loved the Randy videotape segment, I definitely think it was shoe-horned into the movie and incredibly awkward now.

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